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Cop one of three on trial for drug dealing

Cop one of three on trial for drug dealing

A police officer was one of three people to appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday accused of trafficking drugs.

Presiding judge Chaing Sinath said police had arrested 26-year-old Vicheth Rachana, an intervention policeman at the serious penal police office in Phnom Penh, in August last year and found three packages of methamphetamines and a K-59 pistol on him.

The two other men appearing in court yesterday were 26-year-old Chan Sokchoeun, a Khmer Kampuchea Krom national from Vietnam, and 19-year-old Phai Sovann, a student, who were each arrested in the capital’s Tuol Kork district last year in June and August, respectively.

Chan Sokchoeun was found with one package of methamphetamines on him, while Phai Sovann was discovered to be carrying three packages.

“Smuggling drugs is a crime. It is an illegal act and is strictly prohibited in Cambodia. Any person found guilty of drug dealing must be punished by laws,” Chaing Sinath said.

Top Chhun Leng, representing judge and deputy prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said evidence and the defendants’ responses showed that they were guilty as charged.

“Based on evidence and their answers, the representing judge sees that there were enough reasons to accuse them,” he said.

“Therefore, the representing judge would like to ask the court to ... punish them by laws,” he said.

The three accused men denied the charges, but confessed they had been addicted to drugs before being arrested.  

Vicheth Rachana said the charges against him were “an injustice”.

“I have never smuggled any drugs. I am just addicted to drugs,” he said.

“Therefore, I would like to ask the court to reduce my sentence,” he said, adding that he had bought the three packages of drugs from an unidentified man in Phnom Penh strictly for his own use.

Verdicts will be handed down on February 13.

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